"How do I know if I'm fast enough to make the team?"

Enter a Distance, Time (h:mm:ss.00 format), and your Age:
Use your age when the race was run, otherwise the calculations will be incorrect.

Age: Sex: M F
Age-Graded Equivalent: Performance %:

Reproduced with permission from Athletics Performance, © Howard Grubb, 1999-2024.
For explanations & additional distances, plus field events & hurdles, try the full calculator.

What do these numbers mean? Age-grading is a method of calculating somewhat equivalent performances for any given age, taking into account world class times by age for each distance. VOQ Racing uses the Performance % as a rough benchmark for the caliber of competitive athlete we're looking for. If your PR-level effort is around 80% and you're hitting 75% on a regular basis, you'll fit in. Try your best times for several different distances to see how they compare!

  • 70%+ You'll be fairly competitive in local road races.
  • 75%+ Top-10 in most local road races, but not quite ready for college races.
  • 80%+ Elite in local road races, moderately competitive in college races.
  • 85%+ Very competitive in college races.
  • 90%+ You'll win most of your races at any level.
The Age-Graded Equivalent is informational in nature. This tells you what your performance might equate to at "peak" age, and is a step in calculating the more important Performance %. (Another common method of categorizing the levels is: 60% = local, 70% = regional, 80% = national, and 90% = world class.)

As of June 27, 2012, our distribution of Performance %'s looks like:

  • Men: 76.7, 77.2, 77.9, 78.8, 81.3, 84.0, 85.3, 85.5, 85.5, 85.6, 88.2, 88.3, 88.5, 89.2
  • Women: 74.1, 80.5, 81.0, 82.4, 85.6, 86.0, 86.6, 86.7

How do I account for Cross Country (XC) times? Assuming the XC and Road courses are measured equally accurately, a very rough approximation is that XC courses will be 10 seconds per mile slower than Road courses of the same distance. For very fast XC courses, the difference may be as little as 5 seconds per mile. For more difficult ones, obviously the difference will be bigger. So, subtract the amount of time you deem necessary from the XC time, select the corresponding Road distance, and re-calculate.

Why this method? Some teams use rigid qualifying criteria, but that doesn't take into account different ages (most people don't run as fast at 50 as they did in their 20's) and PRs at non-standard distances ... at least not without a ton of work to prepare charts for all such possibilities. The age-grading approach isn't perfect -- everyone ages differently in terms of athletic performance -- but it works reasonably well on average and accounts for virtually every scenario.

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